1. The Starship of Theseus by John Dorney
We start this long awaited release with a trip aboard the Starship Theseus, a cruise ship, at least we think it is, the fact that time is being mangled to hell because of the Time War, is causing this not to be the actual reality that the Doctor in the shape of No.8 is really experiencing. The story quickly evolves, the scene is set, and the story starts to unfold in what I can only describe a virtuoso performance of the skill of writing a masterpiece of story telling. The Doctor aboard the ship as to come to terms with the real reality of the situation, and the fact that he needs to get himself and his The first episode sets out the sheer magnitude of the Time War and how it is causing mayhem amongst the universe and its inhabitants. This is more than a introduction this is like the start of a very intense symphony, and this is going to play out over the next 3 episodes of this rather addictive first encounter where the Doctor as to rescue the crew and passengers or refuges as he refers to them, by piloting the Dalek ship that has attacked the Theseus. This is space battle in a style that paints a much broader landscape than you could achieve with just moving pictures. So we are off on to the road of the Time War, in the capable hands of McGann as the much maligned and under exposed 8th Doctor.
2. Echoes of War by Matt Fitton
Echoes of War is one of those follow on episodes where we start to get the feel of how the story may unfold, landing on a jungle planet, it’s own native inhabitants scared, and fighting for survival, it makes a rather strange and unwarranted chance when the one thing that they least want to encounter in the shape of a Dalek is the one thing that will save them form the natives taking full control. The story displays the Doctor whole self belief of preservation of life even if it is the shape of a pepper pot. We also get to understand a lot more about the time war in this release, with the devastation of the planet and the absolute hell that is being wrought. The story just builds in the sense of giving the listener a real WOW factor of just the sheer enormity of the story telling. It makes you realize the level of quality that Big Finish bestow on us their fans, this is a rather above average production, and it ably gifted witht he likes of McGann and Thakrar, the ever devious and quite almost Vadereque quality that Pearce give to the Cardinal role she plays so dam well. Brigss is forever the voice of the Dalek’s and towards the end I even felt a slight sense of sorrow when we hear the one Dalek who has helped them get blown away. But it does lead us onto episode three. Who would have thought the Doctor would be a placed in to basic training for the Gallifrian army, certainly not me.
3. The Conscript by Matt Fitton
So we begin with the Doctor being conscripted if that is the right word into the guard, to effectively fight, of course this goes against everything that he believes in or his core ethos. The Doctor here acts as sort of antagonist and constant and uninterrupted pain in the arse for all that in his mind are in authority. The line in this episode that stands out for me is when the Doctor is described as having the qualities of hero but from the old guard, not of the world that is being created with the Time Wars. That was the most telling of this I felt. The story reveals more and more of the horror of the Time War and the enormity of the effects on it. The whole episode sped along, and the time seems to just evaporate. Needless to say that the end of this we are greeted with the fact that the Doctor is right, as he always is. Again this is a stand out episode which makes the whole release just shine. I sit hear after listening to this episode and think, if this is the level the bar is high I wonder in the next release of the Time War’s if this will be sustained. This is just so good. However, the one thing that is now a reality this is the penultimate episode before the end. For me that is both exciting and something that I need to feel the void with this great release.
4. One Life by John Dorney
One life is the unveil, and it would be amiss of me to reveal what the Doctor, his collection of crew and of course Cardinal do to stop the onslaught, but least to say, you have better been paying attention as it will be a something that may not come as the most obvious, thing. The whole thing is a masterclass in writing and the way in which if you know your Whoinverse you can create such amazing drama as this. Take a step back and change the placement of this within Doctor Who, and say put it as a Sunday night prime time mini sci fi series, with generic good and bad, and this would simply blow you away, put this as a standalone film again outside of the Who Universe and trade off again is simply a stunning 4 hour story that as the most wonderfully rippled ending, giving a complete satisfaction of a drama. That is the class that we have had the pleasure of here to listen to. This has been one of the stand out releases of the Big Finish stable this year, and surely this will get nominated for awards, on the grounds that it is without equal in the audio drama world
Highly recommended in fact three words just buy it. You will not be disappointed, it is a million miles from anything else that the 8th Doctor as been in, this is a new chapter one I hope that runs and runs